I've watched the back and forth discussion re: copyrights with much
interest for a personal reason. During my personal time, I've been
remastering to CD recordings from 1/4" master tapes that were made from
1951 to 1955 at small western college that I attended. In fact, I was a
member of the choral ensemble that was the subject of the recordings, so
I guess that would make me one of the artists. Also, the tapes were
recorded by a local engineer/dairyman (his hobby), and then, used to
make two commercial releases by Columbia Masterworks. There are about
three more LPs that were released on Columbia's minor labels (Harmony,
Epic, etc.). However, the masters have remained in the possession of
the succeeding conductors of the choir, and only recently were given to
me for remastering. I have sold a small number of the CDs to choir
alumni (also, the "artists") who requested them, the cost of which, used
to cover my minor costs, and the balance sent to the current college
choir fund (a charitable donation). The main thrust of this remastering
is to be part of an archive at the college which we alums are trying to
set up, so that there will be a history for the ongoing ensemble
carrying on the tradition, and others that can take pride in the
achievements that have been carried on at the school.
So far, the current director of the ensemble, one of the school of music
professors, says that my remasterings are much better than the Columbia
LPs, but I credit that to the digital tools that I use today that
weren't available to the Columbia engineers. Anyway, I feel that these
are substantially improved recordings and changed in the process.
I guess I'm asking what the potential sale of these new renditions to
the public could trigger? Or, is just the private sale to alums legal?
We wish to generate revenue to help set up the archive. Again,
remember, the masters were produced by our own engineer and returned I
would guess after submastering to LP (the director who conducted and
took the masters has passed on, so I don't have any direct knowledge of
the process). I'm pretty sure that these are the original masters due
to the writing and EQ settings on the tape boxes, and the manual splices
and manual editing.
I'd appreciate any input on what I feel is a unique situation.
Family Theater Productions
>Sure I support the notion of copyright...but then...I think of the seminar
>I teach on American Music. I have interviews I recorded with Copland, et
>al...Goossens conducting the Fanfare for the Common Man...Copland
>conducting his Inscape with the Boston Symphony...Stokowski and the NBC
>Symphony Orchestra stumbling through the Short Symphony (providing a great
>illustration as to why the work wasn't performed much in the early
>years)...all are things that I play for my class to support their
>understanding of the subject. Strictly speaking, all of these copies are
>illegal...and then, I can't play for them Koussevitzky conducting the
>Copland Third, nor can I enrich my discussion of the music of Edward
>Burlingame Hill by playing the Koussevitzky broadcast of the Hill Violin
>Concerto...both remain locked up in the Library of Congress.
>I guess I believe in the concept of the right to reasonable access. I
>can't send my class to the Library of Congress to hear the Hill Concerto
>or Koussevitzky conducting the Copland Third.
>In the rest of the world, those performances would be public domain.